The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Robert Keith Parker

Screenshot from Daily Kos

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Authorities have confirmed that the man photographed wearing the Nazi supporting anti-Semitic sweatshirt reading "Camp Auschwitz" during the Capitol riots was arrested on Wednesday in Virginia. Auschwitz is the name of a Nazi concentration camp where more than 1 million people were murdered during the Holocaust. The racist identified as 56-year-old Robert Keith Packer was arrested in his hometown of Newport News. His sweatshirt also sported the phrase "work will make you free," the English translation for the German phrase "Arbeit Macht Frei" found outside of Nazi concentration camps including Auschwitz.

Packer was arrested and charged for his "role in the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021," the FBI confirmed to The Hill. According to an arrest warrant signed Tuesday by U.S. Magistrate Robin Meriweather in Washington, D.C., Packer was charged with two federal offenses including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and intentionally and unlawfully entering a restricted building. A Virginia resident who wished to stay anonymous told CNN that Packer was "always extreme and very vocal about his beliefs." Additionally, court records indicate that Packer has a criminal history including at least three convictions for driving under the influence, CNN reported.

Images of Packer's anti-Semitic sweatshirt quickly went viral on social media. His attire follows a trend present at violent Trump-supporting protests nationwide and is one of the numerous anti-Semitic symbols and messages seen during the Capitol riots, according to The Associated Press.

According to a criminal complaint written by FBI Special Agent Paul Fisher, a cooperating witness alerted the FBI that he recognized the individual wearing the sweatshirt in the media coverage of the Capitol riots as Packer, CBS News reported. Packer was allegedly a frequent customer at his store and he was able to provide the FBI a photo of Packer inside his store in which Packer was wearing the same sweatshirt on Dec. 11.

After comparing Packer's driver's license to the riot photos and security footage provided by the witness, the FBI was able to confirm Packer's identity. After his arrest he was held at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail in Suffolk, CBS News affiliate WTKR-TV reported.

He then appeared virtually before a federal magistrate judge Wednesday. According to The Washington Post, a prosecutor during the federal court hearing said the government would not be seeking Parker's detention.

In a clear example of white privilege, while Packer was not asked to enter a plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller, Miller said Packer would be released without bail on a personal recognizance bond.

His only conditions were that he stay out of Washington, D.C. for reasons other than to be in court for his case and attend his next court date set for Jan.19.

While he did not identify who would represent him in the case, during the hearing Packer noted that he intended to hire his own attorney.

More than 70 people are facing federal and local charges associated with the Capitol riots that took place on Jan. 6., Acting U.S. Attorney for Washington, D.C. Michael Sherwin said in a Tuesday press conference. According to Sherwin, the FBI has opened investigations into at least 170 more individuals. Additionally, Rep. Jason Crow confirmed that law enforcement officials have opened at least 25 domestic terrorism cases. Social media and other footage shared from the riots is enabling investigators to identify suspects across the country for charges of unlawful entry, disorderly conduct, theft, assault, and weapons violations.

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Levin

Politico reported Friday that John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.

A legal filing by Eastman’s attorneys reveals that, among the messages Eastman is still attempting to conceal from the House January 6 committee are 12 pieces of correspondence with an individual matching Levin’s description as “a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.” Other details, including a sloppy attempt to redact an email address, also connect to Levin, who did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Wendy Rogers

Youtube Screenshot

There have been powerful indicators of the full-bore radicalization of the Republican Party in the past year: the 100-plus extremist candidates it fielded this year, the apparent takeover of the party apparatus in Oregon, the appearance of Republican officials at white nationalist gatherings. All of those are mostly rough gauges or anecdotal evidence, however; it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of just how deeply the extremism has penetrated the party.

Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups. What it found was deeply troubling: 875 legislators in all 50 states, constituting nearly 22% of all elected GOP lawmakers, identified as participating members of extremist Facebook groups.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}